It’s not always comfortable talking about STDs, which you may also hear referred to as STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections). Who wants to gab about gonorrhea?
While you don’t have to draw attention to your latest herpes flare-up, it shouldn’t be quite so taboo to talk about it—generally speaking.
Perhaps if we started being open and honest about STDs from an early age, we wouldn’t feel so awkward delving into this “TMI” topic. Sure, schools teach students the technical stuff, but there’s a difference between studying for a quiz and making the subject matter part of real everyday education.
Today’s teens and young adults are savvier than ever, including when it comes to sex. With the internet available 24/7, their interest is piqued and it’s up to parents to inform them responsibly. Talking with your children about STDs won’t make them more likely to have sex. However, teens and young adults who discuss STDs with their parents are more likely to make healthy choices as a result.
Safe sex (or safer sex) is always the way to “do it”, even if one trusts their partner’s word about his or her status.
Discussing safer sex with your children before they experience it themselves is the only way to go. Because too late is, well, too late.
There are plenty of resources out there, from books to YouTube tutorials. Some parents may be embarrassed to address the topic but there’s no shame in protecting your child. Talk to a healthcare professional if you need help with an approach or the information itself.
Discuss topics like condom use, birth control, and abstinence—the ultimate in safe sex.
You should also let your child know when and where to get tested for STDs. At vybe, we offer convenient, confidential STD screenings. Using blood and urine specimens, the samples will help diagnose many common STDs, including HIV.
There are many treatment options available today for a number of common STDs. So, let them know that it’s not a “death sentence” or a dreadful existence. The peace of mind aspect of knowing your status is empowering. Let them know that they can bring along a friend or partner and get tested together.
Explain that once they become sexually active, they need to be routinely screened at an STD-testing clinic. Teach your children to take an active role in their sexual health and encourage them to have private discussions with a medical professional.
If your children are sexually active, they’re at risk of contracting an STD—plain and simple. It’s important for your teens to know what an STD is, how they’re spread, and the different types of STDs they may encounter. Common STDs your child should be aware of include:
STDs sound scary, but when your children are well-informed and take proactive measures to stay safer, they can keep themselves healthy. Teach the younger generation about the “birds and the bees” with real information that’s age-appropriate. Practice safer sex and get tested regularly. When health is on the line, no amount of pleasure is worth the worry.
For more information on ways to prevent STDs or for confidential STD testing services, contact your closest vybe location. You can also start with an online doctor visit, which may result in a referral to a vybe clinic for testing.